Web thread-up on tissue converting equipment is one of the most important tasks an operator can perform. Traditionally, it is also inefficient, wasteful, and potentially dangerous.
Why? The web thread-up procedure is well established and hasn’t been deviated from in decades. The production line is slowed to a jog rate (about 5 m/min.) and operators are required to climb in and out of equipment to guide web tails along the web path in close range of moving — and therefore dangerous — parts. The process is slow and inherently risky; stressors that are amplified by the need to get the line restarted as soon as possible.
Despite its flaws, manual web thread-up is the only possible solution for the need — or is it? Time, technology, and Valmet innovations are challenging and changing this widely held belief.
Valmet engineers recognized that traditional manual web thread-up compelled tissue manufacturers to sacrifice safety and efficiency for necessity. Finding an alternative was crucial, and an automated solution would be ideal.
The result of leaning into the challenge is the Auto Web Starter. This automated web thread-up solution simplifies the process with a series of three systems that work in succession:
The ingenious design and operation of the Auto Web Starter transforms pain points into benefits for tissue manufacturers in these key areas:
The primary advantage of the Auto Web Starter system is operator safety. There is simply no need for an operator to follow the web along its entire path to prevent paper jams. This means no entries for jog running with hands in close proximity to moving equipment parts — a far safer and less stressful working environment for operators!
The Auto Web Starter requires that an operator enter a machine only once, at the start of the process, to weave the web tail into specially designed plastic shuttles and attach the prepared shuttles to the belts.
From there, automation takes over. The operator exits the machine, closes the door, and starts the automatic web thread-up from the HMI panel. The system passes the web to the rewinder at a low and continuous speed, then automatically starts the normal run. Operators are fully protected and relieved of manual duties that place them in harm’s way.
Unlike manual web thread-up, the Auto Web Starter functions with the line running at a continuous low speed with automatic transition to normal speed. Eliminating prolonged jogs may contribute to overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Likewise, the simplified threading requirements for operators provides them with more time to attend to other skilled tasks and perform at even higher levels of efficiency.
Traditional web thread-up commonly results in the first log being scrapped as waste. On the other hand, the Auto Web Starter can produce a usable first log, which helps tissue manufacturers further increase OEE. The Auto Web Starter helps tissue manufacturers integrate automation into web thread-up for a safe, efficient operation. Learn more from our experts.